Adopted ‘Child’ Who Turned Out To Be 22-Year-Old Woman Showed Disturbing Signs She Was An Adult

The Natalia Grace documentary shows the disturbing signs that the family's six-year-old daughter turned out to be a 22-year-old woman.
Credit: Investigation Discovery

The ‘adopted child’ who turned out to be a 22-year-old woman showed disturbing signs she was an adult.

In 2010, Michael and Kristine Barnett believed they had adopted a six-year-old orphan Natalia Grace from Ukraine.

The couple from Indiana were hoping to grow their family.

But they were met with an unpleasant surprise when they started noticing some ‘strange’ behaviour in Natalia.

Watch the trailer for The Curious Case of Natalia Grace below…

The pair noticed that the supposed six-year-old had pubic hair and adult teeth – along with going on her period every month.

After taking medical tests, they found out she was actually a 22-year-old woman who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, this is ‘a rare genetic disorder that results in short stature and skeletal anomalies’ that mainly has an effect on ‘the spine and long bones of the arms and legs’.

The story has been made into a docuseries called The Curious Case of Natalia Grace and it has given viewers a true look into how this story unfolded.

During the show, the family shared the first alarming signs that made them speculate that the girl they thought to be their child, was actually an adult.

Michael explains: “Kristine’s going to give our brand new daughter a bath, and I hear a shout from the bathroom.

“This was a, ‘I’m not playing around, come here right now, Michael’ shout.”

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The father rushed to the bathroom where he recalls seeing his wife in a state of utter disbelief and fear, and she instructed him to ‘look down’ where he saw that their child had full pubic hair.

“I don’t know what you think. Is that possible? Is that even possible? Who the f*** is this person?” he asks.

Even though they were surprised, Michael vowed to show ‘love and compassion’ to their adopted daughter.

But things started to get much worse.

“There was a day when I came home from work, Kristine’s got a pair of Natalia’s underwear,” Michael continues.

“Kristine asked Natalia to tell me what was going on. I can remember her physical-ness at the time, her hands were just out in front of her like this, and she’s like, well, I have a period, and I’ve been hiding it.”

Natalia Grace
Natalia Grace was a 22-year-old who posed as a six-year-old. Credit: Investigation Discovery

The family was confused as this shouldn’t have been happening at the age that they thought Natalia was, and things got serious when she attempted to attack the children in the house.

Kristine later claimed that she saw Natalia ‘draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members’ and watched her put ‘chemicals’ in her coffee.

The parents also mention that Natalia would leave thumbtacks on the staircase – as well as attempt to pull Kristine onto an electric fence.

She was eventually sent to a children’s psychiatric hospital before staff moved her to an adult ward following their discovery of her pubic hair.

Attorney Beth Karas spoke to TMZ about the documentary along with giving some more of the backstory.

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She said to the publisher: “[The family] went to the court with an emergency petition and an affidavit from a doctor who had been treating her for the past few years who said that he did not notice any growth and there was no growth in four years.

“She was supposedly eight at the time. So he said, ‘Well, you stop growing when you’re 18. If she hasn’t had any bone growth in four years, then she’s at least 22’.

“And with a stroke of a pen, he went from age eight to 22 for Natalia. So she theoretically became somebody who could vote, drink, and drive.”

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Written by Rosario Monachino